Friday’s jobs report bigger than the debatesSubmitted by Allegory on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 16:43
The biggest election news this week won’t be who wins the presidential debate Wednesday night. It will be how many new jobs were created in September, announced Friday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rarely in the history has the monthly employment carried so much political significance. If the payroll survey is significantly more than 96,000 –- the number of new jobs created in August — President Obama can credibly claim the job situation is improving. If significantly fewer than 96,000, Mitt Romney has the more credible claim that the economy isn’t improving.
August’s household survey showed the overall rate of unemployment to be 8.1 percent in August – not bad, relative to previous rates – but that was mainly because so many Americans had stopped looking for work. (You’re deemed “unemployed” only if you don’t have a full-time job and you’re looking for work; if you’ve given up looking, you’re not counted.)